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Chitrak, org (1/2 lb.)

Item Number : 7622 Price: $11.95 Quantity :

USDA Organic

Certified Organic Chitrak root powder (Plumbago zeylanica)

Supports proper digestion and a healthy body weight*

   * Supports optimal weight management*
   * Supports proper function of the liver and the healthy digestion of fat*
   * Strengthens the digestive fire*
   * Supports proper absorption of nutrients*

Ayurvedic Energetics:

   * Rasa (taste): pungent, bitter
   * Virya (action): heating
   * Vipaka (post-digestive effect): pungent
   * Doshas (constitutions): Balancing for kapha and vata, may aggravate pitta.

Commentary: Chitrak is a powerful heating herb that is traditionally used to enkindle the digestive fire, support healthy metabolism and remove natural toxins from the intestines. An excellent herb for reducing kapha, it is commonly used as a primary ingredient in weight management formulas. Chitrak supports the proper function of the liver and the healthy digestion of fat and sugars. It helps energize the body naturally by promoting healthy digestion and the proper absorption and assimilation of nutrients. For those with kapha constitutions, Chitrak is also a good herb for supporting healthy joints and balanced body fluid levels.*

For a 1 lb bag click here For five lbs or more in bulk click here

Herbal tablets that contain Chitrak include: Healthy Kapha, Mahasudarshan, Punarnavadi Guggulu, Trim Support , and Yogaraj Guggulu

Other products that contain Chitrak include: Kapha Massage Oil, Mahasudarshan powder, Punarnavadi Guggulu powder, Trim Balm, and Yogaraj Guggulu powder

This product is organically grown and processed in accordance with the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP).

For more information on Chitrak visit: Wikipedia's entry for Chitrak

Herbs for life: Chitrak monograph

Search index page description Banyan Botanicals Chitrak root powder is USDA certified organic, sustainably sourced, and fairly traded. Chitrak is also known as Chitra (Hindi), Chitraka (Sanskrit), Elanitul (Sinhalese), White leadwort and Ceylon leadwort (English). The botanical name of Chitrak is Plumbago zeylanica. Chitrak powder is available in ½ lb and 1 lb bags and in bulk bags of 5 lbs or more.


Botanical name: Plumbago zeylanica, P. rosea, Plumbaginaceae

Other names: Chita, Chitri, Chiti (H), Chittiramulam, Vellai(T), White-flowered Leadwort (E)

ChitrakaBotany: Chitraka is a perrenial and sometimes woody herb, with many stout cylindrical roots that exude a yellowish juice when cut. The leaves are thin, 3.8-7.5 cm by 2.2-3.8 cm, ovate, subacute, glabrous above and somewhat glaucous below, with a short petiole. The white (P. zelanica) or bright red (P. rosea) flowers are borne in elongated spikes, the calyx covered in sessile glands, the corolla tube slender, about four times as long as the calyx. The flower gives way to an elongated, oblong capsule. Chitraka is found throughout India, Sri Lanka and the Malay Archipelago in moist, tropical locations (Warrier et al 1995, 321; Kirtikar and Basu 1935, 1466-7).

Part used: Root.


     Rasa: katu
     Vipaka: katu
     Virya: ushna, ruksha, tikshna, laghu
     Karma: dipanapachana, grahi, krimiaghna, chedana, kasahara, svasahara, raktaprasadana, kushtaghna, mutravirechana, shothahara, rasayana, Vatakaphahara (Srikanthamurthy 2001, 169; Warrier et al 1995, 321)

Constituents: The root and root bark of Chitraka contain the yellow naphthoquinone pigment plumbagin and other chemically related naphthoquinones inlcuding droserone, dihydroserone, elliptinone, nisoshinanolone, plumbazeylanone isozeylinone, napthoquinone-methylene3’3-diplumbagin, chitranone, maritinone, elliptinone, isoshinanolone 2-methylnaphthazarin, plumbazeylone and zeylone. Two plumbagic acid glucosides (3'-O-?-glucopyranosyl plumbagic acid and 3'-O-?-glucopyranosyl plumbagic acid methylester) have been isolated, as well the coumarins seselin, 5-methoxyseselin, suberosin, xanthyletin and xanthoxyletin (Lin et al 2003; Yoganarasimhan 2000, 426).

Medical research:

Hypolipidemic: Plumbagin isolated from the roots of Plumbago zeylanica administered to hyperlipidaemic rabbits reduced serum cholesterol and LDL by 53 to 86 percent and 61 to 91 percent respectively. Plumbagin lowered the cholesterol/phospholipid ratio by 45.8 percent and elevated decreased HDL significantly. Plumbagin also prevented the accumulation of cholesterol and triglycerides in liver and aorta and regressed atheromatous plaques of thoracic and abdominal aorta. Plumbagin-treated hyperlipidaemic subjects excreted more fecal cholesterol and phospholipids than controls (Sharma et al 1991).

Antibacterial: The activity of plumbagin, a napthaquinone derived from Plumbago zeylanica was studied on peritoneal macrophages of BALB/c mice, which were then evaluated for their bactericidal activity, and release of hydrogen peroxide and superoxide anions. In low doses plumbagin exerted a constant increase in bactericidal activity throughout the study period whereas with in higher doses a stronger response was observed up to six weeks, but then declined in the following two weeks. Plumbagin was also shown to exert a similar response on oxygen radical release by macrophages in vivo. The researchers speculate that the antibacterial effect of plumbagin is mediated through its potentiation of oxyradical release in the macrophage (Abdul and Ramchender 1995). Plumbagin was studied for its effect on the development of antibiotic resistance using antibiotic sensitive strains of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Delayed growth was seen when these organisms were inoculated into the antibiotic (streptomycin/rifampicin) medium, due to development of resistance in some of the cells. The growth was completely prevented however when the bacteria were grown in the medium containing antibiotic and plumbagin together, preventing the development of antibiotic resistant cells (Durga et al 1990).

Antitumor: Mouse melanoma cells were treated with plumbagin, either alone or followed by ?-radiation. Plumbagin alone produced a significant decrease in the cell count on days 3 and 4, whereas with radiation treatment the growth inhibitory effect was significantly enhanced when compared to radiation or plumbagin alone (Prasad et al 1996). The tumor growth inhibitory and radiosensitizing effects of the alcoholic root extract of P. rosea was studied on experimental mouse tumors. Intraperitoneal injection of the extract produced a dose-dependent inhibitory response, up to 50% inhibition at 100 mg/kg for 10 days. When the extract was used at lower doses in conjunction with radiation and hyperthermia this was found to significantly reduce the growth rates of uncured tumors. The herbal extract significantly reduced the tumor glutathione content and although it was not very effective in preventing the growth of Ehrlich ascites carcinoma in Swiss mice, it increased the mean survival time. With radiation the extract produced a synergistic effect to increase tumor inhibition and 120 day animal survival from 10% to 50% (Devi et al 1994). Plumbagin isolated from Plumbago zeylanica administered orally at a dosage of 4 mg/kg body weight induces tumour regression in 3-methyl-4-dimethyl aminoazobenzene (3MeDAB) induced hepatoma in Wistar male rats. The levels of glycolytic enzymes such as hexokinase, phosphoglucoisomerase and aldolase were increased in hepatoma bearing rats, but were decreased with plumbagin administeration, returning the level of these enzymes to near normal. Gluconeogenic enzymes such as glucose-6-phosphatase and fructose-1,6-diphosphatase were decreased in tumour hosts, whereas plumbagin increased the level of these enzymes in the treated animals (Parimala and Sachdanandam 1993).

Central nervous system: The effects of a 50% ethanol extract of the root of Plumbago zeylanica were assessed for their effect on locomotor behaviour and central dopaminergic activity in rats, as well as levels of dopamine and its metabolite homovanillic acid in the rat brain. The extract significantly increased spontaneous motility in the experimental animals in a dose-dependent manner, and elevated levels of DA and HVA in striatum were found to be higher in the treated group compared to controls (Bopaiah et al 2001).

Toxicity: The 24 hour oral LD50 of an ethanolic root extract of Plumbago rosea in mice was determined to be 1148.15 mg/kg (Solomon et al 1993). The oral LD50 of plumbagin in mice is stated to be 10 mg/kg (Williamson 2002, 242).

Indications: Dyspepsia, flatulent colic, malabsorption, hemorrhoids, intestinal parasites, hepatosplenomegaly, cough, bronchitis, chronic and intermittent fever, skin diseases, amenorrhea, anemia, inflammatory joint disease.

Contraindications: Pregnancy, constipation, Pittakopa. Chitraka is traditionally considered to be a potentially caustic agent with abortifacient properties, and should be used with care, preferably in formulation.

Medicinal uses: The etymology of Chitraka is not clear, the term ‘spotted’ perhaps referring to the glands on the calyx, or to the leopard, which is also called Chitraka, in reference to the idea that Chitraka moves quickly to remove disease, like the leopard catches its prey. Krishnamurthy speculates that the term may refer to holes left on the dried primary root from fallen lateral roots (1991, 407). Chitraka is among the most potent and active remedies to stimulate digestion and dispel accumulated Kapha and ama, but because of its firey properties should be used with caution, and is most often used in formulation. It finds representation in many different formulations that are commonly used in Ayurveda, used to treat digestive disorders and edema. It has a powerful irritant effect and no less so upon the uterus for which at one time it was used rather dangerously to procure abortion when applied topically to the cervix (Kirtikar and Basu 1935, 1469). In the treatment of malabsorptive syndromes, hemorrhoids, abdominal pain and swelling, and splenomegaly the Chakradatta recommends a simple medicated ghrita made from Chitraka (Sharma 2002, 82). The Bhavaprakasha recommends Chitrakadi gutika (pills) in the treatment of grahani, or malabsorption. The Chakradatta recommends Chitrakadya ghrita as a vajikarana in both women and men, and corrector of disorders of the urinary tract. Chitrakadya ghrita is prepared by mixing 10 grams each of Chitraka, Sariva (Hemedesmus indicus), Bala, Kalanusariva (Valeriana wallachi), Draksha (Vitis vinifera), Vishala (a variety of Citrullus colocynthis), Pippali, Indravaruni (a variety of Citrullus colocynthis), Madhuka (Glycyrrhiza glabra) and Amalaki with 2.56 kg of ghee decocted in 10.24 litres of milk, reduced to the original volume of ghee. When complete 640 grams each of sugar and Vamsharochana are added (Sharma 2002, 316). Chitraka also makes its way into the very popular formula Yogarajaguggulu, a remedy that “…stimulates the digestive fire, promotes energy and strength, and overcomes vatika (Vata) disorders even if located in the joints and marrow” (Sharma 2002, 250).


• Churna: 500-1000 mg, b.i.d.-t.i.d. • Ghrita: 3-5 g, b.i.d.-t.i.d.

plumbago_zeylanica.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/26 18:12 (external edit)